Thursday, September 25, 2008

Slump? What Slump??

With all the talk about the nationwide housing slump, I get a lot of questions about how it has affected real estate in Eastham. So I compared the previous 12 months (9/1/2007 to 8/31/2008) to the full-year 2004, using data extracted from the Cape Cod & Islands MLS. 2004 was the year prior to the beginning of the current slowdown. I report every month on sales volumes and both average and median sales prices.

The data shows....

  • Sales volume in down 32% (2004 - 141, 2007/2008 - 96)
  • Average sales prices are up 6.8% ($496K vs 530K)
  • Median sales prices are up 0.2% ($449K vs $450K)

My conclusion is that the only slump is in sales volume - no surprise.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chatham Seaside Links

I 'discovered' a 'new' 9-hole golf course! This course is adjacent to the Chatham Bars Inn, just off of Shore Rd in Chatham. What is so amazing is that it's a public course with VERY reaonable greens fees - how about $19! In truth, the course has existed for many years (since 1895) and I'm not the first to discover it, but I plan to give it a play before it gets too cold. I'll let you know when I do. Check it out on

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

REX Agreements - A New Way to Tap Your Home's Equity

Just when you thought that the home lending business couldn't get any more complicated, there is a new way to tap into your home's built up equity. This new 'instrument' is called a Rex Agreement. Simply (ugh!), a Rex Agreement allows you to borrow up to 15% of your homes equity, to be paid back, interest free, when you sell your house, up to 50 years later. The 'cost' of this loan is up to 50% of the home's equity growth since the loan was taken out, however many years ago. If your home decreases in value, the loss is shared, 50/50, between the loaner and the loanee. The minimum loan duration is 3 years. Rex Agreements are legal in Massachusetts, but not in all states. Go Here to read more about these loans.

I see this loan as being, potentially, a very expensive way to borrow money. Also, since these loans will be bundled and marketed, they will (in my opinion) contribute to the uncertainty of the housing and lending industries.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Windmill Weekend - Sand Sculpture Photos

Although the weather was if-fy for Windmill Weekend, a number of folks still managed to build impressive sand sculptures on First Encounter Beach. A client of mine, Kathy S., took some photos that you might enjoy. Go here for her slideshow.

Monday, September 08, 2008

We Dodged A Bullet With Hanna

The weekend turned out to be 'not so bad', even though the remnants of Hurricane Hanna blew through here this past weekend. Saturday was just a day of scattered showers. Saturday evening had light rain but winds in the 25 to 40 mph range, and Sunday was spectacular - bright sunshine. Eastham's Windmill Weekend wasn't a washout as feared. To make the situation even better - Hurricane Ike looks like its heading west, into the Gulf of Mexico.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Bald Eagles Are On The Outer Cape

Friends of mine were kayaking in Wellfleet when they spotted a bald eagle. They were on the Herring River, in Wellfleet, inland from the Chequessett Neck Rd bridge (see map) on the way to Great Island. Bald eagles are no longer an endangered species, but they are protected. I took the photo (right) during a recent trip to Alaska where bald eagles are a common sight.